TV viewers revel in Kardashians, ‘Dead’

Hallmark pic sluggish for ABC

Sunday night saw AMC’s “The Walking Dead” wrap its short fall season with big numbers while viewers continued to cling to the Kardashian clan.

Also of note at the end of the long holiday weekend was a sluggish start for “Hallmark Hall of Fame” on its new network home, ABC, while that net’s “Once Upon a Time” dipped as it returned following a one-week hiatus but still remains potent.

Looking at the preliminary Nielsen estimates, “The Walking Dead” averaged 6.6 million viewers, including 4.5 million among the demo-friendly adults 18-49 crowd. It was up week to week and logged the sophomore skein’s second best scores to date — behind only its season premiere last month.

While “Walking Dead” has emerged as basic cable’s top-rated original drama series ever in adults 18-49, the new drama airing behind it, “Hell on Wheels,” has lost ground after its sturdy start and must now proceed for the next three weeks without its customarily strong lead-in.

“Hell” drew 4.4 million for its premiere on Nov. 6 and had fallen to 3.5 million for its third episode; AMC did not issue ratings for the show’s fourth episode on Sunday.

Elsewhere, it appears the short-lived marriage of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries didn’t alienate viewers, who are still keen to follow the family’s reality exploits.

Sunday’s second-season premiere of E!’s “Kourtney and Kim Take New York” drew 3.2 million viewers, slightly better than the numbers for the series launch in January. In the 18-49 demo, “New York” garnered 2.3 million.

Going into the season preem, it was difficult to predict whether the divorce brouhaha would bring more viewers to the “Kardashian” series or turn them away from the cabler’s franchise.

The 3.2 million number was in line with the sixth-season finale of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” which aired in September. October’s two-part wedding special averaged 4.2 million viewers.

Following “New York,” “After Lately” drew a series-high 1.2 million for the net.

On the broadcast side Sunday, the down-trending “Hallmark Hall of Fame” franchise opened slowly for ABC, as “Mitch Albom’s Have a Little Faith” settled for a preliminary 1.1 rating/2 share in adults 18-49 and 6.5 million viewers overall from 9 to 11 p.m., down a whopping 48% from the “Hallmark Hall of Fame” original presentation of “November Christmas” a year ago on CBS.

The Eye net had aired the franchise exclusively from 1995 until earlier this year before relinquishing it due to declining ratings.

Also for ABC, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.8/4 in 18-49, 7.6 million viewers overall) was up a bit vs. its most recent airing, and “Once Upon a Time” (3.4/8 in 18-49, 10.7 million viewers overall), sidelined last week by the American Music Awards, was down but did draw its largest audience to date among the under-18 crowd (1.5 million).

The holiday weekend also saw “Tyler Perry’s For Better of Worse” draw 3.4 million viewers (including 1.8 million adults 18-49) for its Friday premiere on TBS. The sitcom, based on the “Why Did I Get Married?” movies, is the latest from multihyphenate Perry, whose “House of Payne” aired more than 200 episodes on the cabler.

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